tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 30, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST
wednesday one day after his state of the union vow to take executive action to republicans thwart his efforts on economic progress. speaking in maryland, obama touted his plan to boost the minimum wage a federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. >> some of my ideas i will need congress, but america can't just stand still if congress isn't doing anything. am not going to stand still either. take steps to expand opportunity for more families, i'm going to do it with or without congress. nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. [applause] and that is why i firmly believe it is time to give america a raise. >> obama is also backing a congressional bill that would raise the minimum wage for all
americans to $10.10 an hour, but a new analysis from the center for economic and policy research says that if the minimum wage were kept in line with productivity gains since 1968, it would now be more than double that amount at $21.72 an hour. director of national intelligence james clapper has launched a new attack on whistleblower edward snowden. before the senate intelligence committee, clapper called on snowden to return all stolen documents to the nsa after causing what he called major harm to u.s. security. clapper also suggested the journalist who published the .eaks are his accomplices >> snowden claims he has one and his missing is accomplished. his compasses to facilitate the return of the remaining stolen documents that have not yet been exposed to prevent even more damage to u.s. security. what i do want to speak to as a senior intelligence officer, is the profound damage his
disclosures have caused and continue to cause. as a consequence, the nation is less safe and its people less secure. what snowden has exposed has gone way beyond his professed concerns with so-called domestic surveillance programs. edward snowden has repeatedly maintained his no longer in possession of any of the documents he took from the nsa, having passed them onto journalist to report at their discretion. clapper was appearing before the same panel he was caught lying to master but the deliberate collection of americans personal information. from came under attack clapper, snowden was honored wednesday with a second nomination for the nobel peace prize. two swedish lawmakers say they "ap snowden for "whistleblowing that is contributory more stable and peaceful world order. snowden'sest disclosures, the huffington post reports
the nsa spied on foreign governments before and during the 2009 u.n., summit in copenhagen. in internal nsa document says
it's analysts and foreign partners briefed u.s. negotiators on other countries preparations and goals, saying -- "signals intelligence will undoubtedly a significant role in keeping our negotiators as well informed as possible throughout the two-week event. 2009 copenhagen summit ended in failure. also testifying on wednesday, attorney general
eric holder said he believes the bulk collection of phone records is constitutional but will be reformed on the orders of president obama. >> i would say 15 judges in the fisa court, to judges, one in california and one in new york, have looked at this question and a determination that the 215 program is in fact constitutional. one judge and washington, d.c. has decided it is not.
i think it only deals with half of the question. i believe they are correct that it is constitutional, it is inappropriate use -- it is an appropriate use. what the president has posed to us, just because we can do something, should we do it? >> a terror suspect facing
trial in the u.s. is challenging the government's effort to use evidence obtained by the nsa. htorov is accused of providing material support to a terrorist group in afghanistan. in a new court filing, the american civil liberties union says the government should not be allowed to use communications that were obtained without proper court review. is the first definitive challenge the 2008 law that authorized the government's collection of personal information from phone and internet providers when the target is thought to be overseas. the syrian peace conferences in its final round of talks before
wrapping up on friday. u.n. envoy lakhdar brahimi said the assad regime and members of the steering opposition have made little progress, but called for patience. >> i do not expect we will achieve anything substantive. i am very happy that we are still talking, but the ice is raking slowly but it is breaking. on friday andte discuss what we will do when we resume. >> friday's talks will focus on setting up a follow up for the next round of negotiations. the two sides remain deadlocked over the role of bashar al-assad in the future transitional government. the european union is poised to deepen its ties with cuba. according to reuters, eu foreign
ministers would agree next month to launch talks on a packed that will boost trade and investment with cuba as well as increasing dialogue on human rights. in the past, the u.s. has put pressure on europe to help isolate hugo. the u.s. has maintained an embargo against cuba since 1962. new details have emerged on the bush euros secret cia jail used to hold and torture foreign prisoners in poland. the washington post reports the cia gave polish counterparts $15 million in cash or use of the prison in 2003. two interrogators who worked at the prison were removed from poland after tearing out a mock execution of a prisoner. the polish government is probing its own hosting of the site, but the case has lagged for years without results. whose conviction was overturned for the 2006 killing of an iraqi civilian is facing a new trial. sergeant lawrence hutchins has been the only one of several
u.s. service members involved to receive a murder conviction. he served six years in prison before being freed after nichols court ruled prosecutors used in admissible evidence. the victim was dragged from his home in the town of haditha, shot, and then planted with a weapon to make it appear he was planning an attack. the marine corps says hutchins will not be retried on the same charges. -- will now be retried on the same charges. executed a deathd the court row prisoner just 24 hours after the supreme court granted him a stay. herbert smulls was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of a jewelry store owner. the supreme court followed up by denying all of his appeals, clearing the way for his death.
missouri begin using a new execution drug last year after a drug manufacturer stopped making the state's long-running three drug combination. in new york, congress member has apologized after being caught on tape threatening a television reporter's life. followingrview tuesday night's state of the union, republican congress member michael grimm lashed out at new york ones michael scotto are questioning him about alleged campaign-finance violations. >> commerce been michael grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances. we wanted to get him on camera on that, as you saw, he refused to talk about that. back to you. >> [indiscernible] >> the audio is hard to hear, so for our radio audience, grimm to threaten tove
throw scotto off about the and then says "i'll break you in half, like a boy." grimm initially refused the demand for an apology, saying he had done "a favor by rushing to do their interview in lieu of several other request." he later issued a statement saying he called scotto personally to express regret. other reporters have now come forward to claim prior instances of his verbal abuse. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. egypt's military government has announced 20 outages or journalist will go on trial for endangering national security and belonging to orating a ."errorist organization the military has accused al jazeera of supporting the muslim brotherhood, which has been protesting against the government since the army toppled resident morsi in july. three of the journalists --peter greste, mohamed fahmy, and baher mohamed have been detained since
the summer 29. peter greste's father condemned the move. >> it is unbecoming of a great nation like egypt. it is unbecoming of any civil society to behave like this. it is the meaning of any community which even pretends to be democratic and fair. >> the news comes just days after the third anniversary of the revolution that ousted egyptian dictator mubarak. than 60 weekend, more people were killed in clashes surrounding the anniversary. some 1000 people were detained by sunday night. in a sign of growing and active -- in a sign of growing activity by militants, an egyptian army helicopter was shot down, killing all five soldiers on board. six people were also killed in a series of bombings around cairo. thiswing the violence weekend, the military government said it would hold residential
elections earlier than its political roadmap had called for. military body has artie given its approval for armed forces chief field marshal al-sisi to run for the presidency. for more on a situation, we go to egypt to cairo to speak with democracy now! correspondent sharif abdel kouddous. his most recent piece is called him a "egypt in year three." welcome back to democracy now! explain what is happening. mentioned at the outset, these charges that are being brought against journalists and al jazeera really mark a frightening escalation and crackdown on freedom of the press in egypt. these charges -- many journalists have been detained, but the decision by the authorities or prosecutors to bring this case to trial is seen by many as unprecedented. the first terrorism related charges being brought against journalists. they are being -- they are
brought after the muslim brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization by the government last month. there are 20 defendants mentioned in the prosecutor statement. there are no names mentioned, although, we do know 16 of them are egyptian. they are accused of joining a terrorist organization. they are accused of endangering national security. there are four partners listed, citizens, a dutch citizen and australian citizens. they are accused of aiding in publishing this false news to portray egypt as going through a civil war and to destabilize the country. what we also know is there are five al jazeera journalists that are in prison right now. three of them are from al jazeera english including peter and baherhamed fahmy mohamed.
and bahered fahmy mohamed have been held in maximum security wing of the prison, held in solitary confinement for 24 hours a day with no access to sunlight in insect-infested cells with no bed. they were recently deprived of a blanket and food being brought in. their family members have said they are suffering the effects of what can only be described as punitive confinement. the other two al jazeera journalists work for the arabic language channels of the who have been imprisoned for over five months. dullah is on a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment. we're waiting to see what the names are of these 20 defendants, but many presume at least the three al jazeera journalists are named in it. this also comes amidst widening assault on journalists in the
street. i the anniversary of the revolution, the 25th of january, we saw over a dozen journalists interferes square. journalists were attacked outside on the street, shot covering clashes. when they are assaulted by citizens, journalists are frequently accused of belonging to a al jazeera. this is a direct result of the demonization campaign of al jazeera that has gone on for months in the state and private media channels. >> what is the egyptian government saying in response? well, they say they keep citing the dependence of the judiciary, that this is in the hands of the independent judicial process. that process claims al jazeera was operating out of the
marriott, a luxurious hotel, and they were editing footage to manipulate the footage to make egypt look like it was undergoing a civil war. clearly, there has been a crackdown against al jazeera and any media that gives a platform for opposition voices. right now, government officials cannot even say to journalists whether it is a crime to publish an interview with a member of the muslim brotherhood. so that is the framework now that journalists are trying to operate in and it is coming amidst this really heavy crackdown in general. >> al jazeera correspondent peter greste got a letter out of the prison saying two of his colleagues are being held in what is known as a more draconian scorpion prison, which is held for members of terrorist
organizations, becae they're being considered muslim brotherhood. and he said one of his colleagues needs hospital treatment, but he is not getting that treatment. talk about how these journalists are being treated and then overall, beyond even egyptian journalists, the number of egyptian protesters that are being held in jails today. has beenpeter greste held in a wing of the same prison that is slightly better conditions. he is in a cell next to a very prominent blogger and activist who has been imprisoned since late november. he is kept in his cell 20 hours a day, allowed out only for four hours. he does have access to books and writing materials, and he penned
two very movg letters describing the conditions and also talking about the general state of the country and this crackdown on the press in egypt. i mentioned the other two al jazeera english reporters are being held -- journalists are being held as maximum-security wing. mohamed fahmy had a broken shoulder when he was arrested from a previous injury and it was aggravated during his arrest. he has been denied medical treatment. his family who recently visited he a few days ago said looked like his spirit had been broken. we discussed the effects solitary confinement can have. they up and held in 24-hour solitary confinement for a month now and allowed out only for interrogation. as far as protesters being held, it is difficult to get an accurate number. egypt's jails are bursting with prisoners. , they put it at
21,000 people have been arrested since the ouster of morsi. every day we hear of people being rounded up on the streets. the primary target of these arrest have been the muslim brotherhood. muslim brotherhood members in cairo, across the delta, and in the south. the crackdown has widened beyond that and is now targeting anyone who voices any kind of opposition or dissent to the current military-backed government. it has targeted prominent and electoral voices, like apple believe the most prominent intellectual in egypt. a professor has been charged with espionage. he teaches at the american university of cairo and used to teach at harvard and notre dame. this is really coming amidst this widening silencing of any opposition voices, and it has
become difficult for anyone to speak out and very difficult for journalists to operate as well. >> you mentioned the former lawmaker and political scientist who is also charged. he was charged for insulting the judiciary in a tweet? >> yes. he sent he sent out the tweet we morsi was in power in june, right before his ouster. sentencing orthe the outcome of a trial that targeted over 40 ngoorkers who were arrested at the end of 2011 or there was a rate of their offices in 2011. he sent out the tweet and has wide caseed in this that has people across the political spectrum named it, both opponents and supporters of mohamed morsi him and accused of insulting the judiciary, which is a crime in this country. -- he had to cancel travel
plans to go. he has been a very moderate voice to someone who has spoken out against the military ouster of morsi, but also very vocal in his opposition to morsi's abuses as well. simplyrent regime is showing no dissent whatsoever. >> we have to take a break but when we come back, i want to talk about a possible presidential run of the military .uler mohamed morsi appearing again in court, and what was the third anniversary of the egyptian revolution like entire square -- in tahrir. we're speaking to sharif abdel kouddous. his piece in "the nation" is, "egypt in year three." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are talking about egypt. on saturday, the interim president mansour announced presidential elections will be held before parliamentary elections, reversing the timetable agreed after the army to post the islamist president mohamed morsi. >> i have taken my decision to amend the roadmap i which we will hold presidential elections first followed by parliament reelections. today, i will request a fair presidential election committee to open the floor for the candidates in the presidential race and to do so in accordance with the amended constitution. >> we are still joined in cairo by sharif abdel kouddous, democracy now! correspondent, who writes for "the nation" and his latest piece is, "egypt in year three." talk about the significance of the possibility of al-sisi
running, who the field marshal is, as well as what these elections would mean. al-sisi was appointed by morsi himself in the summer 2012 and replaced the head of the military. he was the youngest member of the supreme council of the armed forces at the time. there wasn't much known about him. he's to be the head of military intelligence. his star really rose with the in julyf muhamed morsi 2013. he was seen as pushing away the threats of the islamists who are often described as terrorists ad since then, he has enjoyed cultlike personality. his picture is posted everywhere. there is been talk that is dominated the news in this country of whether he will run for president from escalating
calls for them to run for president. a few days ago and what appeared to be a series of carefully choreographed moves, it seemed to set the stage for a likely presidential run. he was promoted to field marshal, which is the highest ranked in the egyptian military. in the supreme council of armed forces made a public announcement to give him the go-ahead to run. in a statement they read, they thanked the military generals for the approval and thank them for giving him the right to respond to the call of duty. what is significant about this public announcement is that it makes the military institution ss a whole complicit in sisi' potential run. it makes it very difficult for the senior officers to distance themselves from his candidacy. if he does run, his almost guaranteed to win. there's no other candidate that seems to be able to stand a chance against him. he will have to shoulder the
very deep social and economic problems that egypt still faces and that have been unresolved since the revolution began three years ago. see when he will announce. any are waiting for the candidacy under of to open, which should be some point mid february when he would make the official announcement. >> morsi's trial, egypt government locking him in a soundproof cage in court? was morsi's second appearance since he was ousted in july. the first appearance in november, he appeared in a suit and not the traditional white outfit of prisoners. in the cage, he shouted down the court was illegitimate, that he was an illegitimate president and did not recognize the legitimacy of the court. this trial, which is different charges, he was brought into
court wearing a white jumpsuit of a prisoner but was put in a glass soundproof cage as for the other defendants in the trial. it made it difficult to hear what was happening and also made anyhey were able to silence outbursts by him. at one point, they had the microphone turned on. you heard mohamed morsi say, where am i? who are you? in an aggressive way as the head of the court said, i'm the head of the criminal courts, then shut down his mic. this trial, morsi and a number of other defendants, are accused of breaking out of prison in 2011 and accused of conspiring with hezbollah to make this prison break. but many analysts find these allegations highly implausible. some to the fact that one of the morsi named in helping reg out a prison was actually deceased at the time.
>> can you talk about what happened over the weekend, the increasing militancy, the shooting down of a helicopter in the sinai peninsula that killed five soldiers? all of these redoubled authoritarian measures the government has taken, they had three months of a curfew and emergency law, a new protest law , cracking down on any dissent. we have only seen a rise in militancy, a rise in attacks on security officers on army soldiers. more than 250 have been killed in recent months in these attacks. on the eve of the third anniversary, four bombings exploded across the capital. the biggest was a car bomb that targeted the police headquarters in cairo. it left four people dead. we saw another escalation with a shoulder mounted surface-to-air
missile being used in sinai against a military helicopter that took down this military helicopter. , a militant attacks 2011,which was formed in they claim responsibility for nearly all of these attacks including assassination of a senior intelligence or interior ministry official just a few days ago near his home. they have denounced the muslim brotherhood in statements. despite that, the current government and the military and the press have often blamed the muslim brotherhood for all of these attacks and hold them responsible. one of the deadliest bombings egypt has seen which took place in december and killed 16 people commit targeting the provincial headquarters of the police in the delta, the day after is when the designated the muslim brotherhood a terrorist organization.
we're seeing the cycle of violence continuing. currently, there's no end in sight. wasalk about what tahrir like on the third anniversary of the egyptian revolution. >> tahrir was a very different space than the one it was three years ago with his revolution began. when it began, tahrir became the epicenter of dissent in egypt. three years later, in a been turned into a festival of chauvinistic nationalism and military worship. gone were the pictures of martyrs which were often waived and flown in tahrir to commemorate those who died in the uprising and those who died in the ongoing struggle. they were replaced by pictures of al-sisi posing next to a roaring lying and things like and things like
that. helicopters were circling over ,he cheering crowds in tahrir dropping flags to the crowds and people would run and grab them. there is a monument in the middle of the square that was built by this new military-backed government. on the outside of tahrir, clashes were happening in cairo, across the capital and across the country with more than 60 people being killed. it was one of the deadliest days in summer. the protest were led by both members of the muslim brotherhood and supporters of the ousted president morsi, but also people who reject mohamed morsi and the muslim brotherhood and also reject the military. the crackdown was equal on both -- people were killed with a very heavy-handed response by the security forces. this also came the day after these bombings that rocked the capital, so we see this very trigger-happy response by the security forces. it is a dark time i think for many of the young
revolutionaries and activist who had very high hopes three years ago and have continued to struggle and many of whom are in prison now. it looks like the repressive security state [indiscernible] >> in your most recent article in "the nation" you quote a letter from the well-known blogger, activist alaa abd el fattah said to his younger sisters from prison. in it he writes -- "what is adding to the oppression that i feel is that i find that this in prison and is serving no purpose. not resistance, and there is no revolution. the previous imprisonments had meaning, because i felt that i was in jail by choice and it was
we turn now to ukraine, where thousands of antigovernment demonstrators have constructed what amounts to a self-sufficient protest city within the capital of kiev. the standout prompt of the country's prime minister to resign on tuesday, as its parliament agreed to repeal a round of laws that crackdown on dissent. on wednesday, lawmakers offered an amnesty to protesters who have been arrested in the standoff, but only on the condition that activist vacate buildings have occupied in kiev, and other parts of ukraine. this is the speaker of the parliament, volodimyr rybak. let me remind you that yesterday we have approved the bill for thousand seven the lock ukraine that ceased to be enforced. we also agreed to discuss today the questions related to the removal of the negative consequences and on a mission pursued and punishment of persons in relation to the events which took place during peaceful rallies. so i come up with a proposition
to vote on legislation without discussions. i ask people's deputies to vote. amnesty offerent wasn't attempted get people to remove their barricades and 10 from the meantime -- main protest zone. but so far, demonstrators have vowed to continue their occupation. had shownauthorities honesty according to the mandate they were given, we would trust the but now they have compromised the guarantees. we have no trust in these authorities. we have doubts in their honesty and decency and that is why it is risky. so we are not leaving. that is for sure. >> people came here so that all of them would be gone, so that the president would be gone and the government would be gone. we need full change. we cannot go on like this. >> the demonstrations in ukraine are collectively referred to as euromaidan. they began and they november after president yanukovich
reversed his decision to sign a long-awaited trade deal with the european union in a move that favored stronger ties with russia instead. the protest rapidly grew in size after a violent police crackdown. while nationalist led the demonstrations at first, others have since joined the movement. at least five protesters have been killed in clashes with police, and hundreds have been injured. police have also attacked dozens of journalists and destroy their equipment. as tensions continue to increase wednesday, ukraine's first post independent resident leonid --vchuk recognized emphasized the seriousness of the crisis. is, frankly,ion very dramatic. all the world acknowledges and ukraine acknowledges the state is on the brink of civil war. they are parallel authorities in the country and there is a de facto uprising.
when the power is taken over, which is a real fact, when the power is falling down in the constitutional authorities refuse to honor their responsibilities, it becomes clear that this is a fall of the power. this is simply a revolution. >> for more we're joined in new , professorhen cohen emeritus of russian studies and politics at new york university and princeton university. his most recent book is, "soviet fates and lost alternatives: from stalinism to the new cold war." book now eight and paper -- it is now out in paper book. he recently wrote a letter to "new york times" that was critical of its editorial on ukraine and russian president vladimir putin's role in the country. and also joining us from london is anton shekhovtsov, a ukrainian citizen who just got back earlier this month from observing the protest in kiev. he recently wrote a piece
titled, "what the west should know about the euromaidan's far right element." welcome. let's begin with anton shekhovtsov. what should people understand? >> well, first of all, thank you for th the invitation to democracy now! highlight apiece to very dangerous trend, in my opinion, that many people in the west buy into russian propaganda which is saying euromaidan is if a traitor by the neo-nazis and anti-semites. this is completely untrue. there is a far right element in it isidan protest, but basically a multicultural democratic movement which is trying to build a new ukraine, a
democratic ukraine. by the name far right there goes ukrainian nationalism, which has its main thrust is building of a truly independent ukraine. a ukraine which would be a national democratic state and not a colony of russia come as ukrainian nationalists think. the move toward europe is a move toward democracy and away from the authoritarianism of russia and [indiscernible] severaluld unite authoritarian states. ukrainians do not want this. they want to be away from authoritarianism and they struggle for democracy now in ukraine.
basically, ukraine is a frontline of democratic europe. the ukrainians are not only fighting for their own freedom, but they are fighting to stop authoritarianism to spread westward. >> stephen cohen, what is your take on what is happening in ukraine right now? >> well, it is not what anton shekhovtsov said. where to begin. can we begin at the beginning? ukraine,appening in what has been unfolding since november in the streets is probably the single most important international story today. it may impact for very long time the geopolitics of europe, russia, american russian relations and a lot more. at the same time, media coverage of this story, particularly in s, has beenstate exceedingly misleading. i would characterize anton shekhovtsov's characterization
to be as flat as i can, as have true. but a half truth is an entry. the realities are, there is no ukraine. all of this talk about ukraine is on the frontline of a moccasin, there are at least two to ukraine's. one tilts toward poland and the west, european union, and the other toward russia. this is not my notion. this is what every public opinion poll has told us since the crisis unfolded. want to% of ukrainians go west. 40% want to stay with russia. and 20% just don't know where they're not sure. who precipitated this crisis? it was the european union, in a sense. it gave the ukrainian government -- by the way, which is a democratically elected government. if you overthrow this government like they did morsi in egypt, you're dealing a serious blow to democracy.
the crowd manages essentially to carry out a coup d'état from the streets, and that is what the moxie is not about. here is what the european union did back in november. until the government of ukraine, if you want to sign an economic relationship with us, you cannot sign one with russia. why not? don't the three of us were together? the chancellor of germany at first thought that was a good idea, but she back down essentially, ukraine was given an ultimatum. sign the eu economic agreement or else. what was that agreement? it would have been an economic catastrophe for ukraine. i'm not talking about the people who were well placed, but the ordinary ukrainians. the economy is on the the same austerity policies that are ravaging europe and nothing more.
$600 million and it needed billions and billions. if you read the protocols of the ukraine, whichto has been interpreted in the west as just about civilizational change, escaping russia, economics, democracy, there is a big claws on military cooperation. in effect, by signing this, ukraine would've had to abide by nato's military policies. what would that mean? that would mean drawing a new cold war line, which used to be in berlin cut right through the heart of slavic civilization on russia's borders. that is where we are now. these right wing people whom anton shekhovtsov things are not significant, all reports -- i don't know, maybe was long ago -- but the reports coming out of ukraine are the following. one, the moderates -- the former heavyweight champion boxer and others -- have lost control of the street.
they have asked the people who have been attacking the police with all atop cocktails and to vacate the buildings that occupy to stop, and the street will not stop. partly because the street in kiev is now controlled by these right wing extremists. that extremism has spread to western ukraine where these people are occupying government buildings. you have a political civil war underway. what is the face of these people, this right-wing? asthey hate europe is much they do russia. their official statement is, europe is homosexuals, jews, and the decay of the ukrainian state. they want nothing to do with europe or russia. i'm talking about -- this very right-wing. what is the political activity include? writing on buildings in western here." "jewsliv live
that is exactly what the nazis wrote. a priest who represents part of the political movement in western ukraine, putin quotes this but does not make it false, it has been verified, "we ukraine will not be governed by negroes, jews, or russians ." the first victims of any revolution are the moderates. in the moderates have lost control of what they created come helped by the european union and the american government back in november. now anything that is possible, including two ukraine's. >> anton shekhovtsov, can you respond to professor stephen cohen? >> yes. this is basically what i said, a distortion in the western media. i don't know if it is professor
cohen has been to ukraine, i was there just a few days ago. i'm not in the right wing taking control of the streets. the streets are controlled by euromaidan, which is youth -- ideologically different. there is a right-wing wing element, but this is the element which is only a minor component of euromaidan. if you remember the solidarity movement in the 1980's in poland, it also comprised some right-wing elements. in the end, they built a democratic national -- national democratic poland. as for the neo-nazis and anti-semites in western ukraine, there were some, but at the same time, if you talk to them, if you interview them, and if you read their demands, you will not find any dissemination laws among third -- any
among them. at the same time they support the pro-european protests and this is partly what euromaidan is about. there are many false reports about the beatings of representatives of national minorities in ukraine. mostly these reports are all false. they're being spread by .ussian-backed propagandists they're trying to distort the image of euromaidan and picture it as something very violent, something very right-wing.
although, the right wing element, as i said, is a minor element of euromaidan. .> professor stephen cohen can you respond to what he is saying and also talk about how people are informed tear archly to the media, the media coverage of what is happening in ukraine? >> i already responded to what anton has set. to me, it is a fundamental his representation and raises questions in my mind, though he's entitled to his lyrical allegiances, who he represents in ukraine. he is clear where he stands. even the american media, which deleted this right-wing element for two months, now has gotten worried about it. there is an article in "time" the day before yesterday, and today's "new york times" editorial is now worried about these people.
is not worried about them for his own reasons, but the plain reality is, the so-called moderates -- who are democratic -- have lost control of the situation. here's the evidence. including thers, boxer who wants to be president of ukraine, enter into negotiation with yanukovich, the democratically elected president will stop what did he offer? he offered a coalition government, which is a traditional democratic solution to such a crisis. thesaid, we will give them prime ministers ship and the deputy prime ministers ship. that is colossal concession. that is power-sharing. they did not accept. >> the protesters? >> no, the other democratic leaders did not accept it. one reason, the main reason, the street would not accept it. since both of these guys want to
be president when there are elections in 2015 -- if there are elections -- they're not going to go against the street. they have become captives of the street. the street, increasingly, is in the control of these right wingers. let me make a point in will be interesting to hear what anton things of this, many young thugs in the street are trying to kill policeman. they are throwing molotov cocktails at them, beating them up. the police are brutal also, but mainly one democratic country that would allow laws to attack policeman in the street -- name one democratic country that would allow laws to attack policeman in the streets and not crackdown? the police have not cracked down. >> anton shekhovtsov, your response? >> the police have already crackdown on the protesters. in the end of november when peaceful protesters were brutally beaten by the riot police, they did not do anything except for staying on the andpendence square in kiev they were beaten up.
some people have disappeared. since then, since the end of november, there tens of dozens of people who have been kidnapped by the police and now they are found sometimes frozen to death with their hands tied to their backs. there is a whole campaign of state terror going on in ukraine. more than five people were killed already. politicians whom professor cohen called the moderates, he was offered a position of prime minister, but ukraine is a presidential republic so the whole political power is in the hands of president yanukovich. so this position is not really
powerful. the prime minister does not have any influence on politics and on the way ukraine develops -- >> amy, anton may have been in ukraine a week ago, but he is completely out of touch. part of the deal that yanukovich offer the moderates was to change the constitution to deprive the president of the powering -- >> that is simply untrue. >> it is not untrue. i have read the documents and the speech. it is still at the parliament. they may or may not vote on it. you're not representing the situation correctly. itwell, i am representing correctly because i have been there and i've seen the documents that were being discussed in parliament. president yanukovich never offered to go back to the constitution of 2004, which would reproduce the parliamentary republic. he wants all of the power he's got during three years of his
rule. he has no control of all the oligarchic business in ukraine. he was trying to build a business empire and give his family and the oligarchs and businessmen connected to the family all of the economic power in ukraine. of course, he will be fighting told that because if he loses -- fighting to death, because if he loses, his family will lose all of the money they have stolen from the ukrainian people and invested it in european banks and businesses as well as american businesses as well. but i want to get stephen cohen 's response to john mccain and christopher murphy. voicing support for the cause. you thee here to tell american people and the united states congress stand with the
people of ukraine. >> i am republican president or murphy is democrat, and we're speaking for the american people in solidarity with you. >> that isanton's position. -- that is anton's position. when i say mainstream, i mean it extends from the right wing in america to msnbc to the so-called progressives to bill more -- maher who did this on a show the other day. there is no alternative except sitting here with you today. it is wrong factually, wrong in terms of policy for mccain to go, as he is done in other wentries, saying once that are all georgians announcing we're all ukraine's.
he is being reckless. a true understanding of ukraine begins with the fact that there are at least two to ukraines, culturally, politically, economically. this isn't putin's fault or resident yanukovich possible. is either god possible or history's fault. explosiveion has been since the end of the soviet union 22 years ago when western politicians go there, they're playing with fire metaphorically and now they have real fire. >> you think this is about the media's vilification of putin? >> i think the vilification, demonization, is the worst press coverage by the american media of russia that i have seen in my 40 years of studying russian contribute to media. insane.most this idea that he is a thug and that explains everything, passes
for analysis. >> we have to leave it there. a queue, stephen cohen and anton shekhovtsov, for joining us to talk about ukraine. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] democracy now!]